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Boom despite the Gloom
Simon Cooper, Deputy Chairman and CEO, HSBC Middle East & North Africa, discusses the past year and reinforcing its position as a leading international bank.
May 22, 2012 2:15 by kippreport
For us in MENA that means we will focus investment on key growth markets where we can achieve scale and returns – specifically KSA, Egypt and the UAE; strengthen our position as a leading international trade and business bank; and focus on serving the growing need for wealth management in the region, which, as an international bank, we are uniquely positioned to do.
There has long been talk of a need for consolidation in the UAE banking industry. Do you believe that the government/regulator can take steps to push that process? Do we need to have consolidation to have a more secure banking sector?
A healthy banking sector needs the right number of financial institutions to serve the population, local and expat, business and trade flows, and national development. It is true that overcrowding can lead to imbalance, risking a “flooding” of the system, which may increase competition.
However, although regulatory intervention is an option, it is not necessarily the preferred one and it requires political will and commitment. In my view, voluntary rather than artificial consolidation is a more sustainable solution.